We believe that everyone is called to ministry, and that those individual calls arise from worship, require discernment and support to answer, and accountability to ensure faithfulness to the call. We believe that calls to ministry arise in everyone – children, teens, adults, older adults – and they change and grow over time and across our life spans. In this regard, we envision our yearly meeting to be a place where people are on fire, ministries are thriving, accountability is vital, and our organizational infrastructure is aligned in support of ministries.
Welcome to this Program
We envision supporting individual calls to ministry whereby:
• Each Friend – knowing that the Religious Society of Friends did not lay down the ministry but the laity – seeks, finds, and follows the call into which Spirit invites them.
• Each faith community – knowing that gifts are given to the community – nurtures, supports, and holds lovingly accountable the Spirit-led services provided by and to its members.
• Each Philadelphia Yearly Meeting body – monthly and quarterly meetings, committees, councils, collaboratives, etc. – engages seamlessly with other bodies within and beyond the yearly meeting to support the Friends and faith communities in the above activities.
We do several things, including:
- Develop resources for supporting individual calls to ministry. These resources include discernment practices, clearness committees, support groups, spiritual accountability, mutual accountability, financial management, overcoming obstacles, job descriptions, frequently asked questions, adult education curriculum, etc.
- Develop a process for approval of minutes for individual ministers as described in Faith and Practice, pages 56 and 57 (2002 edition).
- Encourage participation in and use of the skills and gifts database, and for friends to apply to the Quaker Life Council as Resource Friends.
- Develop content for Supporting Individual Calls to Ministry Collaborative gatherings; creating a network of ministers within PYM who can support each other, address common obstacles, and share the mutual blessings of the ministries in our midst.
- Conduct workshops and trainings related to supporting individual calls to ministry.
- Cultivate discussions via PYM Connect to address common concerns and issues, offer prayer and support, and notify people of upcoming workshops and trainings.
- Interface with other yearly meetings and Friends organizations to coordinate visitation, share resources, and offer mutual fellowship and peer support.
Inaugural members of the Supporting Individual Calls to Ministry Collaborative are:
- Viv Hawkins (Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting)
- Hollister Knowlton (Clerk, Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting)
We are an open collaborative and as such invite everyone to participate in our work and meetings.
We meet on a quarterly basis, on Saturdays, and rotate our meetings to various locations. Our next meeting will be in April 8, 2017 at 9:30 am at Serenity House, 1209 West Lehigh Avenue, Philadelphia.
We have guidelines for how we work together:
- We are present to each other and to the spirit among us.
- We treat each other with dignity and respect.
- We listen to others with a sense of resiliency and curiosity.
- We celebrate the joy of the ministries in our midst.
- We speak from our own personal truths, and refrain from dominating the group or any of its members
- We call upon the assistance of spirit, our communities, and each other as we follow our leading and our calls to ministry.
- We hold each other lovingly accountable to our calls, our ministries, these guidelines, and our interactions with each other.
To get involved, please contact the PYM office.